Palaeoecology of the Cenomanian amber forest of Sarthe (western France)
Keywords:Amber, Arthropods, Microorganisms, Palaeoecology, Cenomanian.
Cretaceous ambers have been discovered in France since the beginning of the 18th century. The best known are those from south-western France which are Late Albian-Early Cenomanian in age, but there are other important amber deposits in other regions. Here, we summarise the data on one of these other Cretaceous amber regions, the Sarthe Department. These deposits have been mentioned in the literature since the end of the 18th century, but they have remained relatively unknown. The material, that has been studied during the 1970’s and 1980’s, yielded a well-diversified arthropod fauna (72 arthropod specimens, including arachnids, cockroaches, bugs, beetles, flies, wasps...) dated to late Early-Middle Cenomanian. In the last decade, 4 types of bacteria, a possible testate amoeba and fungal remains were also found. A re-examination of the historical collections of the Sarthe amber, housed in the “Musée Vert” (Le Mans, France), allows to estimate the geographical extent of the amber deposits in the Sarthe Department. The study of the microfossils of these samples provides new data on their palaeoenvironment.
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